After weeks of attacks against efforts to expand voting by mail this election year because of the Coronavirus, President Donald Trump on Tuesday tempered his criticism by saying voting by mail in his home state of Florida is okay, as data shows the GOP losing ground to Democrats in people asking for mail-in ballots in that key 2020 swing state.
"Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure," the President tweeted, "so in Florida I encourage all to request a Ballot & Vote by Mail!"
The President's tweet came as elections data from the state of Florida shows Democrats are embracing the idea of voting by mail in much larger numbers than Republicans, undermining what has long been a critical turnout tool for the GOP.
Currently for an upcoming state primary Florida, Democrats have an over 593,000 advantage over the GOP in terms of Vote-by-Mail ballot requests.
It’s not just Florida where the Democrats are showing much more interest in voting by mail, as Democrats have a 3-to-1 edge over the GOP in North Carolina absentee ballot requests - and Independent voters have doubled the number of GOP requests in that state as well.
In Congress, Democrats mocked the President’s course change on voting by mail.
“When you realize Republicans vote-by-mail too,” tweeted Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI).
“He acknowledges it’s the same as absentee voting. And he acknowledges it’s safe and secure,”said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA).
While the President has denounced the idea of states moving to mail-in elections, the list of states doing that in 2020 is small.
Five states conducted all mail elections in 2016, and will do so again this year: Utah, Hawaii, Colorado, Washington State, and Oregon.
Those states will now be joined by California, Vermont, and Nevada.